take the green line orange line shuffle over to our favorite neighborhood. gyeonbukgong station and up into the streets of nuha-dong. up & down a lantern festooned restaurant row searching for lunch & we find a good one. kim chi pancakes, seafood noodle soup and the walls all covered with signed autographs from famous patrons, photos attached. the place is packed. two guys sharing big bottles of cass beer and lunch. some hikers fresh off inwangsan mountain sporting those cool old guy multi-colored pants we’ve been seeing everywhere flush with hiking poles and packs. they order three or four rounds of the kim chi raw oyster salad pictured on the wall. “yo – gi – yo” yelled out for refills. lunch is a cool ten thousand yuan and we’re out the door, off into a warren of narrow lanes and hanoks. bricka brack. seaweed drying against a sunlit wall. lane upon lane of old houses cute as a button. the mountains rise about, all stony and pine laden, military installations atop. we wander the streets, past cafes and arcades and groceries. up towards the mountains and apartment houses. a church here, a museum there. the buddhist temple closed up for a monday but some men nearby are blasting old 60’s korean lounge music with slinky guitar and saxophone, laying bricks for a second story. trees almost bare of leaves some still golden under silver haze of day. we descend back into the busy streets, take coffee at some lazy cafe. tongin market slow for a monday… gamjajeon pancakes, buckets of kim chi, chicken skewers, candy shops and seafood sellers. we walk to gyeonbukchong palace, a hive of activity full of tour groups and hanbok wearing couples. turquoise painted eaves, red walls and gingko trees. bukhasan mountain a tower behind. we ramble around, a bear in my pack… five o’clock and it’s closing time. over to insa-dong we feast on the street food. potato tornados, ttebokki and really hot taste chicken skewers. red bean and custard filled fish shaped cookies. pick up a keepsake for some future wall. take the blue line towards city hall, catch the green for hongik station. pass up pizza mall for homemade pasta saucings later. kick it at eastern guesthouse happy with tired dogs.
another day in seoul complete.